Well-being and mental health
Mental health is more than meets the eye.
It affects our relationships, self-esteem and how we deal with life’s challenges. Mental health is just as important as physical health — and we can all learn to better understand it and support our and others' mental health.
What is mental health?
This term gets tossed around a lot. And the words “mental health” bring up different ideas and feelings for all of us. That’s why it’s important to understand what it means. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, mental health is:
- Enjoying life
- Having a sense of purpose
- Being able to manage life’s highs and lows.
Mental health includes how we feel, think and act, our social connections, ability to solve problems and overcome challenges.
The mental health pyramid
The mental health pyramid helps us recognize the state of our own mental health — and how our friends, family and neighbours are feeling too.
Our location on the mental health pyramid can change daily or even hourly. You can sometimes be in two categories at once — you might be experiencing depression but not distress. No matter where you find yourself on the pyramid, there are others who want to listen, connect and support. It’s important to consider reaching out for extra support if you are in the top two areas of the pyramid.
Check out the video created by Mental Health Literacy to learn more about the mental health pyramid.
Where can I start?
It's important to feel safe, seen, understood and connected. That starts with knowing the signs that you or someone you know might need to pay more attention to their mental health.
It’s natural for our emotions to go up and down. We need to look out for when negative emotions or stress become overwhelming and cause changes in our lives.
Signs and signals
Some signs you might need to pay more attention to your mental health:
- Difficulty focusing
- Avoiding things you used to enjoy
- Physical aches or pains
- Changes to sleeping or eating
- Changes to use of drugs/alcohol
- Thoughts of suicide or self harm
There are people, resources and support available — just like there are for when we’re feeling physically sick. Strathcona County provides counselling and other supports you can access today by calling our team at 780-464-4044.
What is resiliency?
Resiliency is the ability to cope with hardships and stress. Researchers have found that experiencing difficulties is an opportunity to build resiliency.
We can develop resiliency through:
- Building healthy habits
- Finding a sense of purpose
- Recognizing our own strengths
- Creating a supportive social network
- Practicing self-care such as sleep, hygiene and physical activity
Ideas and resources to support mental health
Family and Community Services
Second floor, East Wing Community Centre
401 Festival Lane
Sherwood Park, AB T8A 5P7